Politics and Technology News Bites - Mike Gets a New Computer

by Mike Shea on 3 August 2004

Business Week reports that the Justice Department considers Peer to Peer networking a threat to national security. Secretary of Justice, John Ashcroft, ordered libraries to destroy books not appropriate for external use (whatever that means). Australia put new copyright law in place that outlaws the burning of CDs onto an iPod. The American Induce act isn't far behind. I finished Songs of Susannah today and the knowledge that there is only one book left makes me weep. This is the best series I've ever read. Id released Doom 3 today and I picked up my copy at Best Buy. I am a few weeks away from buying a new system with an ATI X800 XT video card as soon as I can find someone who will take my money. My analog room continues to grow with a fleet of new novels including Foundation, The Lone Drow, Forever Peace, Game of Thrones, Childhood's End, Left Hand of Darkness and American Gods. I picked up an Ikea bookshelf to go along with my Poang chair and my writing desk. It looks like the magazine that bought my short Everquest-based story "The Sword of Light" won't be hitting the stands. Hopefully the fellow who spent the $25 will find use for it on his site but in a couple of months I'll post it here. The BBC had a very interesting article on the durability of Flash Memory. The biggest question mark for the survival of flash memory is in lifespan. I hear 10 years. The only way to really archive data over a long period of time is to continually transfer and convert it to new formats and mediums. My high-school and college journals are now in XML format and stored on a new redundant array of flash-memory thumb drives along with everything I wrote on Liquidtheater, Loralciriclight, Mobhunter, and here. Everything I've written digitally can fit well within a $30 64 meg flash memory thumbdrive. My flash array consists of three flash drives hooked up to a USB hub with a batch script that copies data daily from a couple of local directories and from my three websites. The data are stored in uncompressed RTF and HTML. RTF isn't exactly archival friendly but its not binary so it could always be converted. The flash array cost about $100 total. My dad would have spent thousands on this. Update: The release of Doom 3 pushed me into buying the new PC I've been building in my head for the last month. It's a 3.4ghz P4 system with 1gb ram, a 72GB 10,000 RPM hard drive, and a Geforce 6800 GT video card all in a sleek Shuttle 10" cube case. HardOCP's Doom 3 3.0ghz, 6800 GT benchmarks give me a lot of hope for this system even if its main purpose is as a dedicated EQ box. I also bought the 22" Nec Mits monitor I've drooled over for some time. It has a max resolution of 2048x1536 at 85hz. Thats three times the resolution of 720p HDTV. Don't misunderstand me. Computers still suck and I am editing a new revision of Why Computers Suck to explain it. That won't stop me from buying one, I guess.

Send comments to mike@mikeshea.net or follow @mshea on Twitter. If you enjoyed this article, please use this link to Amazon.com for your next online purchase.